U.S. crude prices eked out slight gains on Wednesday, despite supportive geopolitical tensions in the previous session fading and focus returning to the global oil glut.
Traders and investors also appeared to be avoiding big new short positions in U.S. crude ahead of Thursday's market close for the Thanksgiving holiday, analysts said.
By noon in New York, U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures had traded less than 240,000 lots, about half of Monday's volume. The lighter volume could have the potential to distort price moves.
"With this being a holiday-shortened week, I'd expect the moves to be larger-than-normal," said Tariq Zahir, who mostly trades in crude oil spreads for Tyche Capital Advisors in Long Island, New York.